Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · By Nancy Krcek Allen

Nancy Krcek Allen

Top Articles from
No articles in this section
Monday, July 27, 2009

Flavorful Fustini‘s

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Flavorful Fustinis
Oil & vinegar specialists tempt TC & Petoskey

By Nancy Krcek Allen 7/27/09

Lane and Jim Milligan want you to come and have fun with them in their new venture, Fustini’s. If you dream about a certain Iron Chef, read cookbooks instead of novels, talk about dinner before you’ve finished lunch or just like to eat, drop by their downtown Traverse City or Petoskey Gaslight District stores. You’re guaranteed a good time.
The Milligans sell oils and vinegars housed in stainless steel containers from Italy called fustini (or the singular fustino).
Monday, July 6, 2009

Eat more chocolate/Jack Torres Chocolates

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Eat More Chocolate!
Jacques Torres Chocolates

By Nancy Krcek Allen 7/6/09

Kris Kruid has come home—and she brings chocolate. After 18 years in New
York City, and a dazzling time as partner, growing the Jacques Torres
Chocolates empire, Kruid decided to return to Traverse City. She has
opened the Northern Michigan outpost of the famed chocolatier.
Monday, June 29, 2009

The Blue Pelican Inn flies high

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen The Blue Pelican Inn Flies High
By Nancy Krcek Allen 6/29/090

Chris Corbett needed something to do, so he opened a restaurant in Central
Lake in 2003. When the five-year-old Blue Pelican burned down on July 29,
2008, Corbett didn’t miss a beat. He and his wife Merrie restored the
restaurant, added a new sunroom and kitchen, and changed its name to The
Blue Pelican Room.
Monday, May 25, 2009

Al Fresco at Amical

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Al Fresco at Amical
Nancy Krcek Allen 5/25/09

In 1993, when would-be restaurateur and chef Dave Denison and partners leased a former quilt store on Front Street, they knew outdoor dining would give their restaurant a special place in diners’ hearts. So with considerable expense, they pushed the building back, engineered a support system underneath it and poured 22,000 pounds of concrete.
It cost more than anticipated. “(I know) people thought, ‘what are you doing? It’s just a coffee shop,’” says Denison. “We felt it would differentiate us from every other place. I still don’t know who has a completely covered patio street side. There are people who make a special trip Up North every year. In their minds they are saying, ‘I’m going to eat outside and I’m going to eat at Amical.’ I’ve had people just run and sit down—like musical chairs. It’s like they won the lottery. You’ve got to smile, because that’s what the patio is all about.”
Amical’s patio seats 31 guests. With its roof, drop screens and gas infrared heaters, you can dine outdoors spring, summer and fall—with an occasional winter day thrown in.
“New Year’s Eve two years ago we served out there,” says Denison. “It was full of people during the day and at night. If it’s around 25 to 30 degrees—and not windy, it’s not bad—and if we put pads on the seats, fire up all the heaters and it gets full, it’s warm.”
Monday, May 11, 2009

Siren Hall

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen The Tantalizing Call of
Siren Hall
By Nancy Krcek Allen 5/11/09

Next time you’re in Elk Rapids, listen closely and, if you’re lucky, you’ll hear the call of Siren Hall. You’d be well advised to follow this Siren’s call. Like Ulysses and his crew, you might find yourself spellbound; but unlike Ulysses, you’ll get to go home after dinner.
Siren Hall is Michael and Rebecca Peterson’s newest restaurant odyssey. The couple has converted a former downtown Elk Rapids antique shop and gas station into a chic, clean-lined contemporary restaurant featuring seafood.
“There’s a mariner tradition here like out east,” says Rebecca. “We wanted to play off that—to honor it. Cape Cod; Newport, Rhode Island; Bar Harbor, Maine; they do it really well. They have that tradition and history. As it turns out, Lake Michigan has it as well. I traveled on the cast-iron U.S.S. Badger as a kid and my great-aunt was a private nurse to one Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald.”
“We knew we wanted to do a seafood restaurant,” says Michael Peterson, the restaurant’s chef. “We spent time living on the East Coast. I love seafood; it’s what people want. We have a group that comes in for oysters. In the summer we have at least four or five different kinds. We don’t put a lot of fish on the menu—we bring it in as features. When it’s gone, it’s gone. That way we don’t hold onto it.”
Monday, April 20, 2009

Phil‘s on Front

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Phil‘s on Front
Nancy Krcek Allen 4/20/09

Northern Michigan foodies will be happy to know that Phil Murray, former chef-owner of the popular restaurant, Windows, is back in the kitchen. This February Murray opened Phil’s on Front, a bistro and chocolate lounge.
Murray’s hits just keep on coming.
In 2006, after 21 years at Windows, Murray retired from restaurants. “I took lots of naps. I went bicycle riding. I opened Chocolate Exotica (and Windows Catering at West Front Market).” Murray smiles. “Then I got tired of having nights, weekends and holidays off.”
After a mission trip to Peru with Bob Foote and other eye doctors (no, he didn’t feed them—he helped with eye exams), Murray got a call from the owner of Ciao Bella, the space where Phil’s on Front is now located. “I think I had $19 in the bank,” says Murray. “I called old customers and investors and they came through. January 21 we began negotiating. We closed on February 2 and by February 12, we opened.”
Monday, April 6, 2009

Thai this

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Thai This...
New café offers a taste of Thailand

By Nancy Krcek Allen

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an extended family, five kids and two cities to raise a restaurant. Not to mention talent, determination, nerves of steel and hard work. Myker Vang Hang has them all. Myker and her husband, Cheng Hang, are the owners of the newly opened Thai Café in Traverse City.
Monday, March 30, 2009

Small town Fusion offers big city fun

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Small town Fusion offers big city fun
Nancy Krcek Allen 3/30/09

When Bobbiesee and Va Chong Ku decided to start looking for a restaurant, Bobbiesee’s father told them to “just drive down U.S. 31.” So they did. In 2003, the Kus bought the former Joann’s in downtown Frankfort and turned it into a thriving Pan-Asian restaurant. “We fell in love with Frankfort,” says Bobbiesee. “We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
In May 2008, the Kus bought and remodeled the former Rhonda’s Wharfside, just down the block from their first restaurant. The new Fusion takes you by surprise with its sleek, big-city look. “Our intention,” says Bobbiesee, “was to provide a better dining atmosphere. We didn’t want to raise prices—we want to give good service, great presentation and taste, for a value price.”
That kind of dedication paid off for Fusion, which earned top awards for Best Asian Food and Best Appetizers from Northern Express readers in 2008.
Monday, March 9, 2009

Martha‘s Leelanau Table

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Everywhere you look, Martha Ryan’s new restaurant, Martha’s Leelanau Table, has a personal touch. Walk into this house-converted-into-restaurant on Suttons Bay’s main street and you’ll feel as if you are walking into a hip auntie’s home. Sunlight pours into the glassed-in sunroom, the walls are bright with color and a curio shelf on the dining room wall shows off a collection of mementos Ryan has gathered in her travels.
“This house had a family history before us,” says Ryan. “We built the wait station with a set of original drawers. The daughter of the previous owner, Ray Priest, came in and recognized her dad’s initials on them.”
Fond of European cuisine, Ryan features bistro and continental food with wine and beer. Her home-cooked dinner menu entices with dishes like chicken piccata, chicken Parmesan, braised hanger steak, roasted mussels, pasta, polenta, risotto, French onion soup and fondue.
Monday, February 2, 2009

Vasquez Hacienda

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Many restaurateurs would tell you that it takes a family—not just any family, but a tight-knit family—to run a successful restaurant. Al and Elaine Vasquez’ Vasquez Hacienda is a case in point. They will celebrate the restaurant’s 35-year anniversary in September.
“I love the people—it’s a family thing,” says Elaine. “The kids who return to work summer after summer keep me young. They come back to see me with their kids—now I’m on to the third generation! I grew up in the restaurant business. My parents came here in 1948. They owned the Rainbow Gardens (where Pearl’s is now)—they were there 25 years. The circle goes on and on.”
“I have nine brothers and six sisters,” says Al. “They have all worked here off and on. My sister, Clelia Bolton, has been here since day one. My wife, Elaine, and Clelia run the kitchen. My sister-in-law, Mary Vasquez, waits tables. Our kids (Jennifer, Al Jr. and Nick) were brought up here. They have done it all: cooked, bartended, you name it they can do it. Nick does the entertainment on Friday and Saturday and Al Jr. sings. Al Jr. has a landscaping company so he mows the grass and snowplows for us.”
Monday, January 19, 2009

A Winter Dinner at Nonna‘s

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen Though Nonna’s sits on Leelanau County’s doorstep, it feels a world apart. As you drive up the winding, snow-covered expanse off M-22 near Glen Arbor that leads to the spacious Homestead resort grounds, it’s even quiet. So different from summer hubbub, it’s almost mysterious. Soothing.
John Kloo, the restaurant’s front-of-the-house manager, is the first person to greet you as you walk through the door into the intimate warmth of fireplace and food. In the background Sinatra sings popular Italian songs. “Nonna’s is Glen Arbor’s hidden gem,” says Kloo. “It’s the perfect little getaway.”
If you’ve lived here long enough you might remember the 52-seat restaurant through several incarnations — its last was as a spaghetti house. “When I first came here in 2005,” says executive chef John Piombo, “Nonna’s was red-checked plastic tablecloths. It just wasn’t my style.” Piombo left for a year to take a job in Miami, but he wasn’t really happy there. After a call from the Homestead, he returned in early 2008. With him came the white linen and sophisticated menu that reflect his sensibility.
Monday, December 29, 2008

The Cedar Rustic Inn

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen As near as a hairdresser is to your ear, your stylist might slip in a word about his or her favorite place to dine and drink.
You should listen up.
Hairdresser Mark Lizenby, owner of Hair Force One in Traverse City, has been planting good words about the Cedar Rustic Inn in Cedar. Lizenby is one of many Leelanau County locals who have discovered Cedar’s secret treasure.
“Mark is here every other day, to eat dinner or for carry-out,” says Nikki Ackley, who with husband and chef, Aaron, runs the Cedar Rustic Inn in Cedar. “We didn’t expect local loyalty so early—local people are our bread and butter. We couldn’t make it without them.” said Nikki Ackley.
The Ackleys have an impressive resumé of restaurant and bar experience. Aaron, a four-year graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, has been in the restaurant business since 1989. He has worked at Art’s Tavern, La Senorita, the Homestead, the Casino, Boone’s Prime Time, the Village Inn and the Cove. “We wind up knowing everybody because we’ve worked in so many places,” says Aaron.
“I have bachelor’s in English,” says Nikki. “I tried to find a job teaching, but it didn’t work out, so I waitressed. It prepared me for now.”
Nikki is the restaurant’s front-of-the-house manager. “In the winter I work mostly weekends.” She spends time with the couple’s two children, Annabelle, 4, and Adrienne, 5 months. “In the summer I work full-time.”
Monday, December 22, 2008

Everyone is a local at Art‘s Tavern

Dining Nancy Krcek Allen The ancient Chinese philosopher Chuang Tzu once commented on how inexhaustibly rich and different is sameness. He could have been describing Art’s Tavern in Glen Arbor. If he’d ever had a conversation with owner Tim Barr, Chuang Tzu would likely have found a philosophical comrade.
“Our philosophy is no change -- but change,” says Barr. Barr’s efforts to keep Art’s the same -- while fostering slow, responsive and renewing change -- has kept summer hordes coming back year after year. “When we needed to put in new windows, we designed a plastic window that looked exactly like the old one. We replaced the old booths and made sure that the angle of the back, and the seat, were as near the same as the old ones. People waiting in line in summer will say to me, ‘Why don’t you put on an addition so you can seat us faster?’ I tell them that then we’d be like every other restaurant.”
Art’s familiar atmosphere has sometimes come with costs the public doesn’t see. “I spent almost half a million to straighten out our sewer system,” says Barr. “It was originally set up as a shared deal with the next door neighbor. I ended up buying the property and set up a state-of-the-art system to treat our waste water.”
The changes that do come are often at the urging of Tim’s wife, Bonnie Nescott. “My wife was the one who, before it was popular, urged me to bring in specialty beers and the different toppings for our burgers. We brought in salads because it was what she liked to eat. Our clientele has changed. When I bought Art’s in 2000, it was just burgers and fries. Now we sell more food than liquor.”